Swedish speedway champ quits

Tony Rickardsson, the world's top speedway driver, is quitting the sport, he announced on Tuesday.

The Swede, 36, says that the concussion he suffered after recent accidents is still causing him problems, and has forced him to retire earlier than he wanted to. His most recent knock came in the World Championship semis in Copenhagen on 29th June, which left him suffering bouts of double vision.

“My body refuses, so I don’t have much choice,” he told Swedish Radio on Tuesday.

Rickardsson is the reigning speedway World Champion, a title he also won five times previously. He had already said that this season would be his last, but he now says he will not drive for the rest of the 2006 season.

Rickardsson had been performing below his best for much of the season, and was in tenth place on the world championship points board.

Asked about his plans for retirement, he said “I just plan to take it easy from now on.”